Articles from Working In These Times

Grad Students Take Tax Bill Fight to Paul Ryan’s Office

Welcome to Interviews for Resistance. We’re now several months into the Trump administration, and activists have scored some important victories in those months. Yet there is always more to be done, and for many people, the question of where to focus and how to help remains. In this series, we talk with organizers, agitators and educators, not only about how to resist, but how to build a better world.

In the Face of the GOP’s Class-War Tax Bill, Chicago Activists Voice Outrage in the Streets

Chicago—It’s an unseasonably warm December evening and a crowd of about 500 people, some wearing knitted pussy hats and recycled signs from previous rallies, are gathered at the plaza in front of the Chicago Board of Trade. Two days earlier the Senate passed its version of the GOP’s tax plan, which gives lavish tax breaks to the wealthy at the expense of everyone else. 

How Bosses Use “Open Shop” Campaigns to Crush Unions

U.S. employers have never been particularly accepting of unions. Yes, there were a few decades after World War II when most employers engaged in a largely stable pattern of collective bargaining that recognized unions as junior partners in industry. Wage increases kept pace with gains in productivity, and union endorsements were courted by both parties.

The Blue-Collar Hellscape of the Startup Industry

On November 13, Marcus Vaughn filed a class-action lawsuit against his former employer. Vaughn, who’d worked in the Fremont, California factory for electric automaker Tesla, alleged that the manufacturing plant had become a “hotbed for racist behavior.” Employees and supervisors, he asserted, had routinely lobbed racial epithets at him and his fellow Black colleagues. 

Farmworkers Say “Us Too,” Demanding Freedom From Sexual Violence

Ahead of the Thanksgiving feast, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) hit midtown Manhattan on Monday to face down the suits with chants of “Exploitation has got to go!” CIW was there to demand humane working conditions on their farms.

The House GOP’s Tax Bill Would Make Graduate School Too Expensive For All But the Rich

The tax reform bill passed by House Republicans on November 16 wouldn’t just slash taxes for corporations and billionaires, it would also dramatically increase the tax burden for graduate student workers by counting their tuition waivers—which they receive in exchange for their labor as teaching and research assistants—as taxable income.

Furthermore, by eliminating student loan interest rate deductions and the Lifetime Learning Credit, the House bill effectively makes graduate school financially out of reach for all but the wealthy.

An Affordable Housing Movement Is Rising from the Wreckage of the Foreclosure Crisis

In late September, activists staged actions in 45 cities to draw attention to predatory rent practices and vast cuts to Housing and Urban Development funding. “Renters Week of Action” was partially inspired by a report put out by the Right to the City Alliance (RTC) highlighting solutions to the problems tenants now face after the foreclosure crisis.

Second City Has Been a Comedy Mecca for Decades. Now Its Workers Are Voting to Form a Union.

The past decade at Chicago’s historic Second City comedy club has been a good one for the business. Along with its range of comedy shows, the company has opened a film school dedicated to comedy, produced a number of high-profile film and television projects, and set up a corporate arm that uses comedy techniques in job training across the country.

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